There’s always buzz around customer experience – how to do it right and what are others doing about it! It is for this reason that Word of Mouth can be one of the most impactful forces of change when it comes to marketing. Recommendations, reviews, stories, anecdotes, all have the power to make or break the general opinion of a brand. In the digital space, where customers are exposed to a variety of vocal views at all times, this is even more significant to consider. Even a direct experience is a more than just a solitary transaction with a client, it is a potential web of a multitude of relationships and conversions, especially if the service is above and beyond!
So spread the word, because today we’re asking our experts how to tap into the rise of online Word of Mouth Marketing:
Angela Maiers, Founder and CEO at Choose2Matter
Each human being has incredible potential to make an impact on the world, and when companies and organizations give people the opportunity to do so, it’s an amazing opportunity for both parties.
When I first gave my TEDx talk “You Matter,” I had no idea the power that one little phrase would have and how far it would spread. It gave me the ability to found the non-profit Choose2Matter and spread the message of mattering across the world.
Michael Creal, Market Unit Leader, CE&X NA CX Customer Success – Emerging Segment, SAP America Inc.
‘Community-based’ platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest & Instagram provide an informal forum, if you like, to sharing how items purchased online are actually used in the real-world. With the added potential of seeing and learning from possibly ‘like-minded’ individuals (i.e., spiritually, mentally, physically, culturally and/or fashionably, so to speak).
The underlying trick (both personally & professionally) is to stay humbly connected & consistent with these platforms’ evolving guidelines – and look to share a point of view that is more ‘consumable’ beyond an audience of one. No matter the Generational Bucket one may fall into… your perspective & preferences can make a positive difference (i.e., Word of Mouth)!
In short, “View ALL ‘marketing interactions’ as Beautiful Gardens – that must be cultivated & watered frequently… as they’re not only worth it, but they provide the background fragrance to this Interconnected WORLD we live in!”
John A. Goodman, Vice Chairman at Customer Care Measurement & Consulting
A simple way to foster online Word of Mouth marketing is to create delight.
CCMC’s Delight Study found that more people are told about a delight experience, and WOM from a delighted customer appears to be much more impactful than WOM from a customer who is just satisfied with good service. When we ask delighted customers what percentage of those told about an experience took action on their recommendation, respondents reported that almost 50% of those told took action vs. about 20% for positive WOM from satisfied customers
For instance, a customer posted on NextDoor that Chewy had sent flowers and a note when the consumer cancelled a monthly shipment because the pet had died. The post received 136 likes/replies including several that said, “Chewy had a heart” and that the poster would “Only use Chewy for pet supplies in the future.”
Sean Hopwood, CEO at Day Translations
Word of mouth marketing is one of the oldest ways to build your brand’s reputation, yet many undermine its efficacy. With consumers now having more access to social media and online reviews sites than ever before, companies need to recognize how these online platforms can be used to improve their online presence and reputation.
Since it’s more persuasive and targeted than other traditional forms of marketing, word of mouth marketing is a great way to establish stronger customer relationships since it targets a network instead of individuals. When organizations build a community of customers, they can expand their reach and increase brand awareness.
Brands can tap into this proverbial gold mine by focusing on customer experiences, using influencers to expand their customer community, incentivizing customers for reviewing their brand (thus spreading the word online), and engaging with “brand champions” that actively and continuously provide constructive feedback that can help the brand grow and increase brand loyalty among community members.
Rahul Tandon, Head of Digital Transformation (Project Anubhav) at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited
eWOM necessitates that an organization responds to “any positive or negative statement made by potential, actual, or former customers about a product or company, which is made available to a multitude of people and institutions via the Internet”. However, instead of only taking a defensive or reactive approach, companies can actually work towards building positive eWOM by the following techniques:
- Leveraging social media channels to create user generated content through contests, offers and incentives; also sharing customer testimonials and reviews,
- Working with industry relevant influencers or micro-influencers to tap into their social networks,
- Creating a strong referral program that incentives customers to share with their network,
- Reviewing and responding to online product/service reviews on third party channels like Google, Facebook etc.,
- Building user communities as a source of brand evangelists.
Sean Whitley, Vice President of Sales at Mitto
It is critical that marketers never underestimate the power of what people are saying about their brand, its customer service, and the experiences they have with it.
This point was especially driven home when Mitto conducted a survey earlier this year that found American consumers are more likely to talk publicly about ‘good’ support experiences than ‘poor’ ones — 65% compared to 29%.
If you want to make sure that your customer support is a topic of discussion amongst the good reviews being chatted about, consumers indicated this is what is they need from their interaction: the problem is solved (81%), the interaction is timely and efficient (66%), and the customer support is courteous (58%).
Your marketing strategy should also leverage multiple channels to both ensure a consistent experience and provide customers the flexibility to interact with — and talk publicly about — your brand on the platforms and channels they prefer.
For example, more than half (52%) of respondents said their preferred channel for interacting with customer support is SMS/text, with this channel being most preferable among 35-44 years old (60%). Chat apps like WhatsApp and Viber were the top choice for 33% of respondents.
Swapnil Dambe, Senior Solution Director of Digital Customer Experience at Digital Consulting
Online Word of Mouth Marketing requires strong channel strategy, contextual & sensible customer drives, or advertisement. It also requires regular monitoring or touches with target customers and their ongoing engagements, and experiences with specific products or services.
Many concepts of marketing such as buzz marketing, grassroots marketing, and viral marketing can be effectively consumed in combination, and then tailor-made based on the given context and the medium like video, social media, or customer newsletter to be utilized to attract more traffic and continuously measuring the result of it.
Nevertheless, customer centricity and their eventual experiences cannot be an afterthought in all kinds of tactics established by the retailers/brands to achieve growth, sustainability, and credibility.
Jonathan Aufray, CEO at Growth Hackers
Word of Mouth marketing is one of the channels bringing the highest ROI. People trust their friends and recommendations.
So, if you have happy customers, you should leverage their power by enticing them to refer their friends. How? For example, you could create a 2-way referral program. In this, both the referrer and the recipient will get incentives.
Stay tuned for more expert panels on CXBuzz!